August 24, 2017
As summer draws to a close and children start heading back to school, family life can get pretty hectic. It's important to remember – and share with your children – some key tips that will help keep them safe and healthy throughout the school year.
Whether children walk, ride their bicycle or take the bus to school, it is extremely important that they take proper safety precautions. Here are some tips to make sure your child safely travels to school.
Walking to school
Review your family’s walking safety rules.
- Walk on the sidewalk, if one is available. When on a street with no sidewalk, walk facing the traffic.
- Before you cross the street, stop and look left, right and left again to see if cars are coming.
- Never dart out in front of a parked car.
- Practice walking to school with your child. Cross streets at crosswalks when available.
- Never walk while texting or talking on the phone.
- Do not walk while using headphones.
Riding a bicycle to school
- Make sure your child always wears his/her helmet when leaving the house.
- Make sure helmet is fitted and secured properly.
- Watch for opening car doors and other hazards.
- Teach your children the rules of the road: Ride on the right side of the road, with traffic, and in a single file; come to a complete stop before crossing the street, and walk bike across; and use hand signals when turning.
Riding the bus to school
- Go to the bus stop with your child to teach them the proper way to get on and off the bus.
- Make sure your children stand six feet away (or 3 giant steps) from the curb.
- If your child and you need to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the side of the road until you are 10 feet ahead of the bus. You always should be able to see the bus driver, and the bus driver always should be able to see you.
Many school-related injuries are completely preventable. Follow these steps to ensure your child’s safety at school.
Preventing backpack-related injuries
- Chose a backpack for your child carefully. It should have ergonomically designed features to enhance safety and comfort.
- Don’t overstuff a backpack; it should weigh no more than 10 to 20 percent of your child’s body weight. For example, a child that weighs 60 pounds should carry a backpack no heavier than 12 pounds.
- Ask your children to use both straps when wearing their backpack to evenly distribute the weight on their shoulders.
Preventing playground-related injuries
Source: National Safety Council
- Encourage your child to use playgrounds with a soft surface. Avoid playgrounds with concrete surfaces, as they are too hard if your child falls.
- Children under the age of four should use climbing equipment with assistance and adult supervision, and watch older children when they’re climbing, especially on monkey bars.